Guest Post: A Reading Challenge with a Difference!

Hello friends! My name is Siobhan and I write a lifestyle blog over at That’s What She Writes. I write about everything from food, travel and book reviews, to life and blogging advice. I’ve known Imogen for a few years now after meeting her at a few events and following each other’s blogs since, so when Imogen asked me to write a guest post for her of course I said yes!
Guest Post: A Reading Challenge with a Difference!
As my love for reading has been well and truly ignited this year, I thought today I would share with you my reading challenge for 2016.  This isn’t your usual ‘I plan on reading 100 books in 2016’ kind of challenge though.  Mine is based on the types of books I want to read.  You’ll see what I mean as we get into it…
I’ve really gotten into the idea of self-help books this year and have picked up a few for myself.  I’ll be totally honest and admit that I’m an incredibly materialistic person, and I absolutely hate that aspect about me.  I don’t want to spend my life lusting of things, because there’s always something else that comes along that you don’t have and convince yourself you need.  Instead I want to spend my life smiling at the happy memories and moments I have made instead.  It’s something I’m working on, but it’s tough, which is why I think this book will really help.  Gerad Kite believes we are making ourselves ill with our material lifestyles.  He believes we are unhappier than we have ever been, and this is because we have lost the ability to tap into our inner selves.  With this book, Gerad Kite intends to help us view things from a different perspective, and to help us see that everything we need to be happy we already have inside of us.
A Book That Was Made Into a Film \ Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Unlike a lot of people, I really don’t mind reading a book after I’ve seen the film.  The way I see it is that the book is always so much better than the film, so I’m not going to be left disappointed!  I went to see Warm Bodies a few years ago when it first came out at the cinema.  I knew nothing about it apart from the fact that the main guy was the kid from About a Boy.  I left the cinema pleasantly surprised at how good it was, and immediately went and bought the book.  It’s since been sat on my TBR pile untouched, yet every time I see it I think ‘I really should read that’.  This year I’m actually going to stand by my word and do that.
Warm Bodies focuses around ‘R’, a zombie who is a little different from his fellow dead.  He has no pulse or memories just like the other zombies, but he does have a dream.  One day he meets Julie, one of the living who brings light and colour into his grey and dreary World, and instead of eating her, he decides to save her.  From there a strange yet tender relationship between the two unfolds.
A J.K. Rowling Book That Isn’t Harry Potter \ The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
Anybody who knows me knows I’m a child trapped in an almost 30 year olds body.  Two of my all-time favourite things are Disney and Harry Potter, and I’ve seriously been having a Harry Potter moment since first visiting the studios last year.  To keep the magic alive I’ve been re-watching the films and re-reading the books until my next visit at the end of May.  I feel like 2016 is the year to see what J.K. Rowling’s writing style is like outside of the Wizarding World though.  I’ve had Casual Vacancy sat in my TBR pile for a while, but I’ve been a little apprehensive about reading it.  I think my love for Harry Potter is so strong that I just don’t want to be let down by her other work, but I’m just going to bite the bullet and go for it, and hopefully be left happy!
Casual Vacancy is about the people of a small town called Pagford.  When one of the residents of the town, Barry Fairbrother dies in his early fourties the town goes into shock.  With Barry’s death an empty seat is left on the Parish Council, and with that the biggest war that there has ever been in the town is created.  A war over who will be elected to fill the seat, filled with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations.
I few years back I was bought a variety of classic novels.  I’d wanted to get my nose stuck into some classics, but in all honesty I’m yet to read even one of them.  They intimidate me, and I worry that the time they were written and the style of writing will go over my head.  However, I have to keep reminding myself that they’re classics for a reason!  I recently saw Pride and Prejudice and Zombies at the cinema and loved it.  I knew I wanted to read the book adaption, but not without reading the original first, so I’ve promised myself that this year is the year I will read my first Jane Austen book.
The book focuses around Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy.  Elizabeth has to learn to look beyond her prejudice and swallow her pride towards Mr Darcy as she slowly learns the truth about him, and as a result opens herself up to the desires of her heart.
A Book I Wouldn’t Usually Read \ I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
This year I have made a promise to myself that I will broaden my reading horizons and pick more books in genres that I wouldn’t have usually picked in the past.  I Am Malala is certainly not something I would have picked up for myself, usually opting for fictional stories where I can escape into new Worlds for a few hours.  I had heard rave reviews about this book though, and being a sucker for an inspiring story I thought it would be worth a read. Malala Yousafzai is the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize after she fought for her right to an education.  On October 9th 2012, Malala was shot at point blank range, and nobody expected her to survive.  In this book Malala Yousafzai tells her story and shares with us her journey.
There are many more books on the list; these are just my starting point.  My aim this year is to diversify my reading material.  We can learn so much from reading, both fiction and non-fictional books, and I want to read as many of them as often as I can!

Have you set yourself a reading challenge this year?  What books are on your TBR pile?
Thank you Siobhan for such an interesting post! Make sure to check out her new blog and give it a follow so you don’t miss her reviews after she reads these books! <3
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Guest Post: How to Get Out of a Reading Slump!

Hello everyone! I’m Lauren from cruelty-free lifestyle & book blog What Lauren Did Today. When Imogen asked me for a last-minute guest post I of course had to fulfil my blogger friend duties and threw together this post for her (and you). I actually feel very special to be posting on Imogen’s Typewriter as I’m such a religious reader of Imogen’s and it’s always lovely when someone wants to share their own little piece of the internet with you!

Pile of books

Reading slumps happen for lots of different reasons. It could be down to business, you could have read a crappy book that sucked the reading excitement right out of you, or you could just not feel like reading. They’re pretty frustrating and certainly no fun to endure for you and your TBR pile so today I thought I’d share some tips for getting out of a reading slump.
1.    Read something short. If your reading slump has left you surrounded by half-finished books then maybe it’s time to finish one and it’s a lot easier when the book is only 90 pages long! Sometimes just the feeling of finishing can inspire you to pick up another book. You could try one of the recent World Book Day releases or pick up one of the short story collections on your bookshelf.
2.   Read an old favourite. I find it so much easier to read something when I know the story, as it requires less effort and in a way it’s so comforting. My favourites include The Hunger Games, Harry Potter and Twilight – purely because I’ve read them all more times than I can count.
3.   Read in a new format. Why not try a graphic novel? Again, it requires a little less effort as the story is visually in front of you instead of you having to use your imagination too much. Imogen has a bunch of posts featuring graphic novels so definitely check those out for inspiration! Alternatively, try reading a book on your phone or Kindle. I found it so much easier to read A Game of Thrones on my Kindle as it was much less intimidating!
Several books on a desk
4.   Read something that excites you. The book that pulled me out of my most recent reading slump was Seed by Lisa Heathfield. (It did, however, push me straight into a book hangover but that’s not the point.) Reading something so thrilling and with such a compelling storyline persuaded me to read and reminded me of the excitement a good book can inspire.
5.   Go to your local bookstore/library and just be around books. See what’s new out, browse a new section, read the first few pages of a book you’ve had your eye on for a while. Familiarise yourself with books again without having the pressure of your TBR pile stacked in the corner!
6.   Do something else. If you’re still not feeling it, then maybe it’s time to step away from the books and do something else. Try your hand at writing, browse Pinterest, go for a walk, binge watch a series on Netflix. If you’re not enjoying reading then don’t read – do what makes you happy. Feel free to abandon crappy books. Don’t force it. Let it come back to you naturally.

So there you have it – six tips to help you out of your reading slump. I hope you found this post helpful & again, thank you to Imogen for letting me feature on her fab blog! <3

Thank you Lauren for saving me from the stress of blogging while I’m away and writing such a brilliant post. Make sure to check out her blog as it really is one of my favourites and I’ll be back to regular blogging next week!
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I’ve Been Guest-Posting!

Hey everyone! I’ve been guest-posting on some blogs I love lately and thought I would post the links to send you their way, and give you some extra reading this Sunday evening.

Over on Simple Beauty Chatter I show you how to gradient your nails with a sponge! It’s really easy but looks amazing.
On Harriet Rosie I talk about how Excel makes me a better blogger! My blog timetable is a lifesaver.
And last but not least, I tell you 5 Things I do Everyday over on Beauty Bits ‘n’ Blogs! It was fascinating to think about.

Have you ever guest posted? Leave me links!
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Guest Post: Fiction Friday: Top Five Books of 2014 (So Far!)

Today I have another guest post for you from the lovely Siobhan who I’ve met in person and is absolutely as wonderful as she appears. She is sharing with you her top five books of 2014 so far, all of which I haven’t read and now need too! So without further ado…

Hello friends!

My name is Siobhan and I write over at Siobhan Emma, which I started in December 2013, originally as a food blog, but over the past couple of months it has slowly started to morph into a lifestyle blog where I review my recent reads, write about the clothes and beauty essentials I love, as well as days out and everything in between…and of course I still write about food too.  I love it too much to not write about it!
As a fellow book worm, I will be taking over Fiction Friday this week for the lovely Imogen whilst she’s on her jolly’s, and today I would like to share with you my top five reads of 2014 (so far!).
My one and only Kindle read of the year so far, and which technically I started at the end of 2013, but I didn’t finish it until 2014 so I’m classing this one as counting…I love it too much not to include it.  Personally I would save this read for the festive season, as this book consists of three love stories over Christmas time; Christmas Eve to be exact.  The stories are are written by three different authors, two of which are two of my favourite teen fiction authors, Maureen Johnson, and the King of teen fiction, Mr John Green.
I’m not usually one for love stories, but these ones are more heart warming than mushy, gushy, and I love that they’re set on Christmas Eve, my favourite day over the festive season (Yes, even more so than Christmas Day…even if I do have to work!).  There are no twists or turns in this book, just three lovely stories to get you into the spirit of things and feel all fuzzy inside during the most wonderful time of year.
This was my first official book of 2014.  This book was recommended to me as a great read for feeling inspired during the new year, so as soon as I finished reading ‘Let It Snow’, I got my nose stuck straight into this.  Although I really struggled through the beginning of the book, it was so worth the struggle of that first part to get to the truly inspiring parts for me.  Elizabeth’s memoirs of her time in India and Indonesia are so beautifully written.  She has really inspired me to see more of the World and experience life more.
Again this isn’t a book with twists and turns, as these are the memoirs of Elizabeth’s journey through life after her divorce, and I really felt like I went on the journey with her.  At the beginning of the book you really feel for her as she describes the pain she is going through with her extremely rocky divorce, then as you get towards the end of the book, you can practically feel the happiness beaming out of the book.  This is a really great read if you’re feeling a little lost in life and need a little inspiration.
I had never heard of Ruth Ozeki until I came across this book in a blogger book club I am a part of.  A tale for the Time Being is read from two perspectives. There is the main character Nao, where it is as if you are reading her memoirs that have washed up on a beach and are found by Ruth, who is the other characters perspective you read from.
I’m not actually a huge fan of Ruth’s character, as I found her to be quite mean to her poor partner Oliver quite a lot of the time, but luckily for me, as the book was written as if Ruth was also reading Nao’s memoirs as well as you, the focus was mainly on Nao’s character, who I just found enchanting, and at times tragic.  Some of the stories she tells you are heart breaking, and at times cover pretty heavy subjects, but to balance these out are the stories of her and her grandmother, and I couldn’t help but smile at these stories.  There is a slight hint of fantasy in this book as well, which always gets a big thumbs up from me!
What I love most is the message in this book, which I can’t really tell you without pretty much telling you the entire story, but it definitely put things into perspective for me.
Ahhhh ‘Wonder’…what a wonderful read.  This is such a feel good story, reminding you that us humans aren’t all bad.  August was born with a severe facial defect, and the book takes you on his journey from being home schooled to being a student in a public school, and how he copes with being thrown into all of these new situations that he has never had to deal with before.
This is another book based on a number of people’s perspectives; August, his sister, his friends, and even his sister’s boyfriend, which actually opened my eyes.  You got to see how August’s condition not only affected him, but those close to him as well.  Sometimes we can forget that although conditions as severe as August’s will obviously affect the person who has to live with the condition, but it will affect those around that person and care for them as well, just in different ways, and it’s good to be reminded of these things sometimes.
I won’t give the ending away, but I’m not going to lie, the ending brought a little happy tear to my eye.
Oh Lord…it’s THE book.  The book that has broken hearts all around the World!  And come June we have to sit through a whole film of it!
I put off reading this book for so long because I knew it would make me cry, but with the film release looming ever closer, it had to be done…and what a wonderful, heart breaking story it is!
Hazel Grace Lancaster is terminally ill due to cancer, and whilst attending one of her support groups, she meets Augustus Waters, who completely turns her World upside down, thus starts the amazing love story that is Hazel and Gus, which ends far too soon for my liking, however, completely not in the way that I expected, and if anything, broke my heart more than I was anticipating!
This book is an emotional roller coaster, so if you are yet to read it…prepare yourself!

So there you have my top five reads of 2014 so far.  I hope they’ve given you some ideas of what you can read next, and if you have any recommendations for me, then please throw them my way!
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Guest Post: Sleek Blush by 3 Palette in Lace Review

Today I have my first guest post for you from the beautiful Helen who we have heard about before on my blog here. She is talking about the Sleek Blushes that I think I need now! Make sure to check out her blog as well. Less of me talking, onto Helen…
Hi everyone! I’m Helen from over at Beautiful Curiosities! Imogen kindly invited me to write a post for her blog whilst she’s away on her holiday. I couldn’t resist taking the chance to talk about one of my newest purchases – the Sleek Blush by 3 Palette in Lace. After being thoroughly impressed by Sleek’s Face Form kit, I decided a larger variety of Sleek blushes was essential. *cough* Really I just can’t resist pretty things *cough*.
Anyway, onto the palette. The Blush by 3 palettes are identical to any of the other Sleek palettes: a professional-looking, but not so practical (it shows up every mark ever) slim black palette. The back of the palette shows you the shades included as if you’re looking at the palette from above. In the Lace 367 palette there are: Crochet (a highly pigmented matte orange), Guipure (a salmon pink with gold shimmer) and Chantilly (a highly pigmented matte red).
All three of the shades included are easily buildable. I did notice that Crochet and Chantilly have a slightly more powdery texture than Guipure, presumably because of their matte formula. The shimmer in Guipure becomes more apparent in direct sunlight. 
Onto some cheek swatches:
Apologies that the swatches aren’t as fantastic as they could be – my laptop stupidly desaturates all of my photos and I had some trouble making them comparable to the original photos taken. I think you can still tell the difference between each of the shades though, so hopefully they’re still helpful! I’ll make the pictures XL to help out a little bit! The colours are also more obvious in a slightly darker room.

Chantilly:

I think most people would agree that this is the most wearable shade for every day use. For days when you just want to add a hint of non-shimmery colour to your cheeks. I love how natural a couple of layers can look. I look instantly healthier!
Guipure:

As expected due to its formula, Guipure is a very delicate pale rose colour on the skin with a subtle gold shimmer. It’s very similar to the blush included in the Sleek Face Form Contour palette (in shades Fair and Light), which has been recognised as a dupe for the Nars Orgasm Blush. This blush would require quite a few layers to build up the colour, as it’s much less pigmented than the other two shades (as is visible in the pictures below). It can, however, be worn on top of the other shades if you want a more highly pigmented, shimmery look.

Crochet:

And the real surprise of this palette – orange blush doesn’t look as bad as I was expecting on my yellow toned skin. Once applied, crochet becomes a much more delicate peach colour (depending on the number of layers applied, of course), and I think it could be the perfect shade for the summer months!

And there we have it! A comprehensive, and hopefully helpful, guide to the Lace palette. I’ve not been disappointed by this palette and I’m sure it’s going to become a staple in my make-up routine!

Have you tried any of the Sleek palettes before? Got any recommendations?

Helen x

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